Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Scriptural interpretation

A friend, Gus Kelly, posted this on our ministers' discussion forum. It puts in a nutshell what I believe to be true about the debate surrounding the interpretation of Scripture:

If scripture is understood as a repository of divinely revealed true propositions and moral absolutes, then normativity will appear as an application of those propositions and absolutes, literally understood, to matters theological, missionary, and personal.  If scripture is understood as the sacrament of divine revelation, of God’s historical self-disclosure, then normativity will be understood as the ever-developing guiding influence on our thought and action of an ever-deepening familiarity with God in Jesus.  For those seeking absolute norms for knowledge and behaviour, the latter position will appear incoherent, unstable and finally inadequate.  For those who realize that the only God worth knowing is a personal God, and that all personal relationships are dialogical and relative, the “uncontrollability” of God’s self-revelation is a source of joyful astonishment and an invitation to the unwavering confidence that only a God of endlessly original love can justify.

- Sandra M Schneiders, 1999, The Revelatory Text: Interpreting the New Testament as Sacred Scripture, The Liturgical Press.

No comments: